Europa Reach is one of several named sections along Gardner Canal, a fjord in the Kitimat Ranges, about 97 miles (156 km) southeast of Prince Rupert and 42 miles (68 km) south-southeast of Kitimat, British Columbia. Different sections of the Gardner Canal are named ‘reaches’, where a reach is a relatively straight section of the fjord. The reaches in Gardner Canal are, from mouth to head, Alan Reach, Europa Reach, Barrie Reach, Whidbey Reach, and Egeria Reach.
Gardner Canal was named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver in honor of his friend and former commander, Alan Gardner, the 1st Baron Gardner. Gardner joined the Royal Navy in 1755 and was promoted to captain in 1766. He commanded a number of frigates before being promoted to a ship of the line. In 1786, as Commodore of the Jamaica Station, consisting of HMS Europa and HMS Experiment, he ordered detailed hydrographic surveys of Caribbean locations and during this time, he commanded and probably mentored future famous officers such as George Vancouver, Peter Puget, and Joseph Whidbey.
During the Nootka Crisis in 1790, which caused an international incident and near war between Britain and Spain, Gardner commanded the 74-gun HMS Courageux, and again Vancouver accompanied him as a lieutenant. In 1791, Captain Gardner, was one of the Lords of the Admiralty, who signed Vancouver’s additional instructions for his voyage of exploration on this coast. Gardner Canal was first labeled on a British Admiralty Chart in 1870 and Europa Reach was labeled as the section between Alan and Barrie Reaches. Read more here and here. Explore more of Europa Reach here: